This major project is to create a new tram storage shed south of the current museum in a narrow strip of land between the highway and the railway roughly opposite Loftus Signal Box.
This shed will consist of a two road shed approximately long enough to store six ‘standard’ tram cars. A set of points will be provided in the mainline to access the shed.
This drawing, (which unfortunately has suffered from being shrunk then scanned), shows the general layout. The Illawarra railway is at the top, the curved line along the bottom is the highway. The ex Enfield water tank at the south end of the shed is next to the Bunya pine. The 3 pine trees at this location are subject to heritage listings and are the main constraint of the site.
More details can be found on the Sutherland Council web site, put DA10/1250 in the Application number box. Then follow the links/tabs to ‘Documents’
- October 2012
- May 2013
- June 2013
- August 2013 Concreting the eastern track
- October 2013
- April 2014
- Move of 93u, KET 22 and Brisbane 71
As the project progresses, photographs will be added here.
Two ‘franna’ cranes were hired to ‘clean up’ the site. Their major task was to work together to relocate the Enfield water tank further south and clear of the building site. Other assorted heavy items like tram trucks and other metalwork were also relocated by the machines.
Site excavation and levelling. Work begins!
Road base has been placed on the track in places to allow trucks and other machines to drive over it with out damaging them selves or the track.
Most photos supplied by Martin Pinches.
Contractors have completed the foundations and retaining walls. This view is looking south in the front door of the shed.
Side cladding is started. The contractors made extensive use of a pair of mobile work platforms.
Frame and long side walls are up. Materials for the roof are on site
The end walls were completed and a start made on the roof.
The construction is pretty well complete. Only the large entry doors and down pipes remain. The current building contract doesn’t include a floor. The floor will be later project – track panels have to be constructed, then lined and levelled before the floor slab can be cast.
The 24th was a Wednesday – the builders haven’t been working on a Wednesday as the need to have the power off while they work would interfere with regular Wednesday operations, hence the deserted looking site.
The construction phase is now complete, with the building now secure. The internal fit out is not part of this current works. The Development Application does however require some landscaping works and the planting of climbing plants to ‘hide’ the building.
The completed South Shed
The shed has no power yet, but as the museum had the light fittings ‘in stock’ they are being put in place now as volunteer time to do the job comes available.
Due to a need to get some off-site stored trams back to Loftus, a push is on to get at least one track laid in the South Shed.
Rails being prepared for one road in the South Shed. As the shed doesn’t yet have any power, these rails are have been laid out in the ‘cess’ between depot junction and the ‘top gate’ as 3 phase power is available at this location to power the welder. When welded, the two lengths will be dragged up the hill and positioned in the shed. Then they will be concreted into position.
Over several weekends in March, the trucks and other steel that was between the road and the tramway were moved – mostly between the tram line and the railway fence, but some steel was taken down to Railway Square to be cut up and used for points components.
On Saturday the 11th of May, Canini Excavations were hired to use their machines to move some earth and excavate drainage trenches. However, the volume of soil to be moved was too large and more than half the day was taken just preparing to excavate trenches for drainage pipe. As it turns out, only a trench for water got done, and another visit will be required dig the drainage trenches and prepare the eastern road in the shed for rail laying.
Canini was back to do some more earth works.
Illustrated here is the earthworks inside the shed, the two parallel trenches are the foundation for the rails. The lengths of rail prepared some weeks back will be placed in position over these trenches and then the whole lot concreted into position, the trenches making the concrete slab thicker under the rails where it will have to support the weight of a tram. Pipes for drainage will also be installed before the concrete goes in.
The previously prepared lengths of rail were dragged up the hill and placed in position over the trenches dug last month.
The rails for the eastern road of the shed are now in position, but due to flooding caused by the extensive rain Sydney has had in the last week or so, the shed is more of an indoor swimming pool. Drains to carry away this excess water are also being installed so the shed will not flood when complete.
On Friday the 9th of August, a special work day was organized to concrete the rails for the eastern track. Concrete was ordered 2-3m at a time for delivery in small trucks, the first truck appearing was surplus which was put to good use. 8 truckloads later we had the track ‘4ft’ concreted and a small left over section of cess near Depot Junction done as well. Small concrete trucks were specially requested as the trucks had to back up the track from Depot junction or be able to turn around in the small space in front of the shed. Most drivers backed up, one tried turning near the shed.
More concrete was placed in the shed, between the previously concrete track and the eastern wall. This was done in panels so allow the concrete to be levelled.
Canini were back with his machines to excavate the foundation trench for the western track in the shed and to complete the drainage trench for the shed. No concrete was placed due to a lack of people to place it.
Canini was back on Saturday, but the photographer wasn’t.
Work continues apace. The rails for the western track in the shed were dragged up into the shed and put into position. Gauge bars made of angle iron and threaded rod hold the rails together. Rails are set on stacks of concrete blocks and the levels set.
The same day also saw a drainage junction pit constructed. A concrete ‘pad’ had been cast into the bottom of the hole earlier. These pits are somewhat over engineered, but it’s quite possible one day we will be driving loaded forklifts alongside the shed so the pits are being built to take that sort of abuse.
A steady procession of surplus concrete deliveries through the month allowed the western track to also concreted completely with donated concrete
With the good run of surplus concrete during September allowing the western track in the shed to be concreted, preparations are being made to concrete the ‘6ft’ between the two roads.
More surplus concrete is put to good use. This lot has completed the western cess in this shed.
A concrete truck picks it way around trams at Railway Square.
A start is made on the centre (the six foot). There seems to be a mini building boom in the shire, meaning Concrite are dropping off lots of surplus concrete. On ‘running days’ the concrete truck drivers carefully negotiate their way around the trams.
With a couple of members spending their Friday’s at the museum and being able to receive concrete, we are getting supplies of surplus on two days a week, hence the rapid progress. This photo was taken on the Saturday morning after. The concreting of the centre is now about 3/4 down the shed. The two drains are roughly at the 3rd points. The same members Fridays contributed greatly to the TAFE cutting works as well.
Shed floor is complete. Probably in record time and at minimum cost the floor of the shed is now complete. On Wednesday the 6th our local concrete people arrived with more surplus concrete and the floor was finished. In fact more than enough concrete was offered and some went up to TAFE cutting as well.
The shed project moves into a new phase that will require more earthworks – the outside access tracks. There will possibly be a pause in this project while the logistics of constructing the access tracks is worked out.
During this month a temporary track is being constructed connecting to the western track in the shed to allow some trams to be shunted up into the shed for long term storage. This will allow some trams stored off site to return.
Photo by Martin Pinches.
The temporary track has now extended to block the mainline. With the National Park line still unavailable due to overhead damage, the opportunity is being taken to do this while traffic is already interrupted.
On January 22, 2015, a long-awaited move occurred with Sydney ballast motor 93u, KET 22 and Brisbane 71 moved from the ‘top shed’ aka the ‘Secondary Operations Building’ to the new south shed. This is to make space for the imminent arrival of Y1 611, which is in near operational condition. (It will need minor work to make it fit for traffic.)
93u and KET 22 have no motors/wiring and had to be towed / pushed, but Brisbane 71 was able to largely move itself under the careful control and supervision of the maintenance manager. 99u and the Matador were used as tow/push vehicles.